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because pope benedict is german. they are moved by the news and chancellor angela merkel will react later. reaction just starting to come in as people hear this breaking news. >> we'll have more on the pope's resignation later on. parts of the gulf coast are waking up to untold damage after a wave of severe storms raked across the region sunday night. the brunt of the storms hit in and around hattiesburg, mississippi, where a long-track tornado ripped across part of the state. the twister traveled down one of the main streets, winding through the university of southern mississippi campus. the governor declared a state of emergency in seven counties reporting damage including downed trees, mangled buildings, and injuries to more than a dozen people. fortunately no deaths have been reported. >>> nbc meteorologist bill karins will have the details on the threat of more severe weather and potential flash floods coming up in a few minutes. >>> residents in southern california remain on edge this morning. day five in the manhunt for a former lapd officer suspected in three cold-blooded killings
the world are still stunned this morning by pope benedict's surprise announcement he's giving up the pa papacy. a papal abdication has not happened in six centuries. it's creating shock waves even from the sky. "the guardian" newspaper showing lightning hitting st. peter's basilica. chris jansing is in rome this morning. good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, richard. there's a lot of speculation here about what that lightning strike means. i can't give you any inside information but the other big speculation, of course, is who will succeed pope benedict. this is something we have not seen since the middle ages. how do you choose a pope when there's one still living? there's a very different church than we saw even eight years ago, and certainly three decades ago when john paul ii was elected. this is a church that is very heavily in latin america. about 42% of catholics are in latin america now. they're growing as well in africa. only 25% in europe, but more than half of the cardinals who will come here to vatican city and who will announce a new pope are from europe. so, here
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